My doctor has recommended that I have my hiatal hernia repaired. I am waiting to see a surgeon. Is this a good idea, and what should I ask the surgeon?
Although rarely necessary, at times, surgical repair of a hiatal hernia is the right choice in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease . There are two types of hiatal hernia. In the much more common, sliding hernia, in which the stomach slides below the esophagus into the chest, medical therapy usually is very effective. The paraesophageal hernia, in which the stomach herniates next to the esophagus, is usually managed surgery. This is because of the potentially life-threatening complication of strangulation. When surgery is considered, it is best to see a surgeon that performs the procedure laparoscopically, if it is possible. Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery involves reinforcing the valve between the esophagus and the stomach by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach around the lowest portion of the esophagus. Using on...
Fundoplication; Anti-reflux surgery
Expectations after surgery
Hiatal hernia repair is a safe, effective operation. Reflux is greatly reduced or eliminated in 95% of patients.
Patients who have laparoscopic surgery typically spend 1 to 3 days in hospital. Those who have open surgery may spent 2 to 6 days in the hospital after the procedure.
During surgery, a tube was placed into the stomach through the nose and throat (nasogastric tube). Some surgeons like to leave the tube in for a few days after the procedure, while others do not.
Eat small, frequent meals after the surgery and avoid gas-producing foods.
Most patients go back to work in 2-3 weeks for laparoscopic surgery, or 4-6 weeks after open surgery.
GERD is one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal disorders. Nearly 7% of persons in the U.S. experience heartburn daily, 20% experience it monthly, and 60% experience it intermittently. Incidence in pregnant women exceeds 80%. Scientists do not know why GERD occurs. Some cases of acid reflux disease are related to a condition called "hiatal hernia." A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach is above the diaphragm. The diaphragm helps the lower esophageal sphincter keep digestive enzymes and acid from coming back into the esophagus. Although no one knows why GERD occurs, there are several factors that are thought to contribute to the disorder. These factors include alcohol use, obesity or overweight, pregnancy, and smoking. Certain foods that may irritate the digestive system can also contribute to GERD, though there's plenty of contradictory evidence as to whether or not certain foods actually cause GERD symptoms. Foods that have been reported to ca...
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